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tv   [untitled]    November 12, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PST

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process i'm going to be left out and drivers like me are going to be left out, so please, please give us the right to appeal which is no cost to us. otherwise we all going to go where? we be homeless. thank you very much. again i am maleem malik. thank you very much. have a good evening. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> hello. my name is ed heely and have been a cab driver for 27 years. i also write a blog and i probably spent -- oh my god, three to $400 going to meetings of the mta of various kinds, and i can say this for the first couple of years they were listening to cab drivers and paying attention to what
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they said, and they came up with a pilot plan which gave money to the city, and cabs to drivers -- allowed drivers to retire and continue to list. however for the last year -- i mean director's contention they balanced all aspects of the transportation industry does not seem correct. they have -- i don't know what he's done with the buses and the bicycles and the rest of them, but the mta board had a change. personnel and they stopped listening to anything the cab drivers said. people made reference to the taxi advisory council. this was a body that met for two years and came up with 60 or 70 different suggestions on how to improve the business, and the mta board gave them 20 minutes to deliver that thing. nobody on that board even listened to
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what is going on in the taxi business. the only abiding rule they're interested in, the balance is balancing their checkbook. this is quite obviously taking money away from cab drivers that they would have gotten from the 150 medallions. these people would have retired on. most are in their 60's and without the medallion they will die impoverished and the mta is taking this for a general fund and supposedly for the good of the public. this is something that they're want living up to their mandate to regulate the business because they're not paying attention to the experts who would tell them to regulate the business. there is a study by harra that the city commissioned and they put this through before even listening to it, so they haven't kept up to
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their agreement under proposition a. as for the contention that this is all too complicated. basically i guess director ed riskin was saying it was too complicated for the average person to understand. i guess the congress could make the same argument to the supreme court. it's too complicated for you to understand so you should let us just make policy. this has to be looked at again, and once again this is no benefits. mr. wiener has no idea what goes on in the cab business. okay. no benefits to the cab business whatsoever and experienced drivers are going to quit. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening board members. first i would like to thank you for hearing this case. i filed
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i wanted to file an appeal but somebody said i couldn't, so on this matter, and thank you for giving us three minutes. that's something the mta has never done and something they have never done also to give drivers hope. you know where is scott wiener? he just left. this was his first time here and he spoke and left. i remember my first cab ride. i was about nine years old. it was to the hospital. i was a burn victim and my mother called for a cab. i'm a 24 year driver and san franciscan native and i am passionate about cab service. i must say that they say money is the root to all evil. is that what the "m" in
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mta stands for? i would hope also one board member would change her mind. i also thank the board for delaying this case. balance with competing interest. yes, mta competes with our customers and we have other customers too. pc process has been over looked. the mta -- first of all too big to fail but they have. they have failed miserably i'm going to tell you. policies, the policies here were excuse me dictated by staff and ed ras kin and not the board. these were not developed or approved by the board. excuse me. they were approved but the basis by which they were approved was misleading and it was anecdotal and it was
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hearsay and there are no facts, none, zero, to fall back on, absolutely none. no facts, no surveys, notice findings, no company mandates fulfilled which they should be. the only way -- this is no way -- excuse me, to run a business. it's my business. i'm waiting. you know in 1998 this board put conditions on for 300 new permits and one of those conditions was -- it was number three. it was to define peak time hours. now, this say problem. this is the problem. and we have yet to define it. we have yet even to work with it. all we want to do is add more cabs. now dispatch is another major problem
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unaddressed completely. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. my name is mohammed and driving for 25 years. i'm not a politician. i'm just a cab driver. sorry. i'm just a cab driver for 25 years in san francisco. and as you see all the car drivers cannot come here and speak. if they would they would say the same things you heard for the last 20, 30 minutes. we just here to ask your help. help us to do something that we need. with your help -- nothing more than that but we need your help. please help us. help 7,000 cab drivers get what they need and
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proposition a approved by the people to regulate the cab, but not to steal from the cab. please help us. 7,000 cab drivers need your help. please help us. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker please. >> good evening. i am marvin ramos and with desoto cab for 15 years and frankly i don't know what to say. i'm not a speaker. other than i feel that there is no representation for us cab drivers, and i don't know. during this whole session here i got this vision that there's top feeders and bottom feeders, and my experience recently has been there's just so much clear
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example of what is going on at the top on the bottom. it's like the general public is going out there and doing their own limo, their own homo cab, their own lift cab, their own sight car. it's endless. so who is going to remain to regulate the top? at this point the sf mta -- there's lots things out on the road as a cab driver i could get to my customers much more efficiently creating left turns on market somewhere. things that the muni buses have, benefits. we don't have none of this. none of this for us. what we do have -- what i am seeing i am sorry. i just feel there is no future. you have heard it. i am starting to
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feel customeret get in the cab and they're asking -- you know, is there a reason they're not answering the phones, and granted there is this new thing that is bold new. information highway way and the websites and infiltrating it is system and changed the industry in general. nevertheless this isn't a reason for the big companies to come in and to exploitd the working class, the cab drivers in this case. the public out there right now that would like to come to the meeting but they can't. they're standing on the corner, the 800,000 that aren't represented -- well, i heard that figure 15 years ago and 880,000 population in the city so that's the example of who is representing us, grabbing numbers and having hearing and
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it just infuriates me. anyway a friend asked me to come here. i feel powerless coming here. i don't feel heard most of the time when i come to these committee meetings. however, i would like you guys to stay on board and to at least hear the appeals of what us, the people, the working class, hear are here for. >> thank you. anyone else like to speak on this item under public comment? okay. thank you. >> hello. my name is brewa gravis. i am a cab driver
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since 1973. when we became part of the mta we had some hope. everybody else that they were overseeing were employees that had benefits, that had health care. they had sick and vacation pay. they had retirement, and we hoped, we prayed that we might benefit from the same and equal treatment eventually. we didn't think it was going to happen over night. we are far too realistic for that, but we thought it might happen some day. instead we got exactly the worse. we are now paying for muni drivers' benefits, and we don't have them. the mta is an
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agency -- you have heard this from so many people. they're out of control. they have to answer to basically no one. the board of supervisors gets to vote their budget up or down. there's no line item veto. the only thing they get to do is say "well, we can do it around the edges and then we'll let it go" because evening the bos has no control and now the mta wants to take away the one last place that we have had any place to be heard in city government because god knows the mta has not listened to us. well, they have had hundreds -- hundreds of hours of town hall meetings and they tweaked a couple of things
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around the edges, but the main problems in this industry, the lack of a future, unless you get a medallion, no benefits for drivers, no hope for anything. they have taken it away, and now if you do not hear our appeal you are going to let them make the decision that you don't have any control over them either. please. you have the control. keep it. >> thank you. is there anyone else that would like to speak under public comment for this item? okay. seeing none then commissioners the matter is submitted unless you have questions. >> i do have questions of mta. i don't know both of you, which
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of you, anybody. >> [inaudible] deputy director of taxis and accessible services. >> i just have a couple of questions. one of them is it the position of mta that section 4.0 1b -- sorry. 4.1 06b is not superceded by prop a? >> i'd like to ask the city attorney -- i mean we have already submitted a letter saying that we have not submitted our own legal briefs because the city attorney's office has expressed its legal opinion. we consider this a legal opinion so i don't want to -- i don't have a firm grasp of the number of sections so if there are questions about the city attorney's opinion i would
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rather have the city attorney's office dreaz that. >> i understand that. i wanted to know whether as an entity mta views -- i don't believe the city attorney has addressed this particular question whether this section of the charter has been superceded, and that's the provision that relates to to whether the board has the ability to grant or deny appeals. >> again it's a very legal question, and if the city attorney's opinion has not addressed it the more of a reason to address it to the city attorney. >> i mean in the memo. doesn't mean period. i want to know what mta's position is on that? you're taking no position. >> our opinion is that the city attorney's opinion is correct and as to a legislative policy issue related to the governance of the taxi industry in san francisco that is not something
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that the board of appeals continues to have jurisdiction over after the proposition a. >> okay. so i understand it's the view of mta that the resolution at issue is one of policy, and so i am trying to square that with that section, and i am trying to understand whether this policy in fact does grant or deny individual permits as the memo would suggest it does -- the memo suggests that the policy and it would -- it does not sort of krorch upon that. >> if you're referring to the issue whether this is referral for grant or nile of a permit. it's their position it's not. this is a classification of class of permits that are different in their characteristics than other permits. for example the medallions that the individuals
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on the waiting list are waiting for are permanent full time permits to operate a taxi. the class of permits that this decision relates to are three year agreements allowing people to operate a taxi for the lifetime of a taxi vehicle, and then the permit ends, so this is fundamentally a different class of permits, and the decision that is being appealed is to which not companies these are given or somebody qualifies for the permit or not, or whether they were granted or denied a permit unfairly. the question is should we have created this class of permits which companies are eligible and individuals are not? >> i guess one of the things that i'm most curious about to the extent that individuals on the waiting list will not -- because of this -- what mta is characterizing as a policy
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decision. does that mean -- does that foreclose on opportunities on the list. >> no not at all. there is a consultant study under way and we hope to have a decision whether we can issue more permits to meet the taxi demand and if so where the permits should go, so at that point there will be a decision whether the permits go to the class of permits that are full time permanent medallions issued to working taxi drivers in order of seniority or a different kind of permit. now over the past year we have created two classes of new permit now. you heard one of them referenced. one is a part time permit and a single operator permitted and granted in the order of people with the most seniority as a taxi driver opposed to people with the most seniority on the applicant
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waiting list. this was a different class of permits. it had different eligibility criteria. it's only allowed to be operated 90 hours per week, so the creation of this class of permits and defining the characteristics of this permit and who would be eligible for the permit is a legislative and policy decision related to transportation management trying to find a way to put taxis on the street that are not out there when there is very low demand, but are available when we know there is a high demand and we need more taxis, so these are the kind of flexibility issues, and example in this class of permits at issue today. these are temporary permits number one. they can be not revoked but as a matter of a default of agreement if a company defaults on the agreement that allows them to use these permits they can be taken away. one of the
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conditions on the permit is that they meet certain dispatch standards. that's our attempt to make these permits give them characteristics that will make the permit recipients more accountable to the public with these taxis, so these are the kinds of features we're adding to the class of permits. another thing about this class of permits is that they are temporary. in the future if we found that the number of taxis on the street is excessive this is the only class of permits we could take away from the taxi supply. for example, if a license agreement for these permits expired we could choose not to renew it, and by that mechanism reduce the taxis on the street by one and we don't have that flexibility with any other class of permits, so we are trying to as the director
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indicated create responsity and management in the taxi agree and creating new features and permits. if this particular class of permits -- if this board were to say "no that companies cannot be eligible for them but individuals are eligible for them" and then what do we do when it expires three years later? they don't have a full time permit. if we decide it's not to be a permanent permit and you are stepping into the judgment of the sf mta how we're going to manage transportation in san francisco. >> i have another question. thank you. that was very helpful. i am curious -- i am also not a politician, and i am not involved in the politics in the city. one -- so and i
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don't know the depth of the history of the people in this room know and live and experience in terms of taxi and what it means in the city's industry, so my question is to what extent if at all does mta as it exists today have some sort of transparent process with the people that do the driver related to policy and the policy making decision so that they know what is going on and what is coming down the pike and have participation in that. >> well, there are the hearings themselves. these set up with requirements of brown act and sunshine and 72 hour notice and all of those things. that is the minimum they think the public considers necessary for an opportunity to see what is going on in policy bodies, and to be able to respond, but in addition to that as some people
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have referenced we have had a series of town hall meetings and one in south venice and tried to invite the taxi industry to those trying to have dialogue. that has been productive over the years and continues to be productive. we are trying to institutionalize that and have one meeting a week and each one is a six hour process so we have a segment from 130 to 430 so night drivers can come and we have another session at night so day drivers can come after they finish their shift. we are trying to do our best to allow an opportunity for dialogue. as was referenced there is also the taxi advisory council that met for two years and that was a policy body so minutes were taken. they were published and in addition to that director riskin has implemented a policy that we are struggling to get in
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front of and anytime we have a legislative change we want to publish it for the industry 30 days in advance so they have time to look at the legislation and have conversations how the proposals should change. it's not perfect but we have very much endeavoring to make better routes of communication between the industry and the agency. >> thank you. i have no further questions. >> so are we going to redeliberate then because we have heard new testimony? what is the appropriate process? >> it's up to the members of the board. if they care to speak again there is no pending motion on the floor so a motion needs to be made. >> oh there is no motion? okay. >> i have a couple of comments.
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>> go ahead. >> just to be clear and perhaps if it wasn't involved in my discussions at the previous hearing, you know, what is before us is a fairly narrow issue versus all the things that we heard from both sides. we're not hearing the case before us, and until we've had the verbal testimony i knew very little exactly what the action was. the question in front of us is whether this board accepts the city attorney's opinion that we don't have jurisdiction, and that question is tied specifically into how we read that opinion, and what we know individually about the charter
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and what occurred in terms of the various actions that were part of that opinion. the issues brought up by the vast majority of speakers are related to their own lives and industry. it's not something that this board has been any jurisdiction over most of it. most is policy decisions that are ultimately have to be resolved at the mta level. this board in terms of its charge of looking at appeals of permits -- you know, our former name was permit of appeals. that's what i focused on when i made my comments last time, and i continue to hold those same opinion. >> and i continue to hold my opinion that this matter
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involves rule making legislation, policy, however you want to describe it that is not the type of matter that properly belongs before this board. whether we like it or not my understanding is that through a series of legislation, voter approved measures, exclusive authority on these matters was granted to the mta, and until such time there is an individual situation under this rule making i do not believe that the charter and the other rule makings that have taken place would allow us legally to consider this matter, and i fear that if we do take jurisdiction we are opening up an arena for any commission, any agency that passes a rule, that implements a policy can be appealed to the board and i don't believe that's the function of the board under
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the charter. >> i would add that my ruling similar to what commissioner fung said has nothing to do with the merits of the policy that mta adopted, nothing to do with ethics, fairness. my opinion is not anything to do with the issue that mta was dealing with, but again whether this properly belongs before this commission. and i would move to deny the appeal. >> well, my only comment is that i'm not changing my vote from the last time. i looked at the city attorney's opinion. i continue -- i went through it in detail at the last hearing. i continue to believe it does not support the position that we are without jurisdiction in this type of permit appeal, so i would still vote to


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